RSH Publishes Corporate Plan

RSH publishes corporate plan with focus on Social Housing White Paper and diversity

The Regulator of Social Housing’s (RSH) new corporate plan sets out how it will approach its work between 2021 and 2024.

Its strategic objectives include implementing policies in the Social Housing White Paper, developing its approach to promoting shared learning and supporting the sector to keep building.

Despite many providers having scaled down their development plans amid other spending pressures, the sector still intends to build more than 300,000 homes over the next five years, according to the plan report.

The RSH expects “significant change” over the life of its plan as a result of white paper changes and policies arising from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Implementing the white paper proposals “will take time” as many policies require legislation, the plan said, but the RSH will consult on new tenant satisfaction measures before then.

It identified the Affordable Homes Programme, the review of the Decent Homes Standard, the Energy White Paper and the upcoming National Strategy for Disabled People as the other major policy areas set to influence housing providers’ business plans.

Meanwhile, the plan pointed to ongoing uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility that the regulator’s approach “may again flex to respond to the operating environment”.

“As part of delivering the outcomes of the Social Housing White Paper and in response to any changes in patterns of working due to COVID-19, we will carry out a review of our accommodation strategy in 2021/22,” the plan said.

Evolving the organisation’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion – including by developing a specific strategy for this area – is also cited in the plan.

In the coming year, the plan said the RSH hopes to “build on the foundations we have laid”, referring to measures such as its recently established Women’s Network and BAME Network.

Alongside these focuses, the RSH will continue to maintain the register of social housing providers, gather data and engage with landlords, and progress with the “development of intervention approaches for major and/or systemic failures”.

The RSH expects to spend £23.3m in 2021/21, with £17.7m in the form of staff-related costs.

Provider fees will cover £14.7m of that spend, with the remaining £8.5m funded through grant in aid from government.

It is currently meeting or beating all its performance targets except on sick days – with 4.6 average annual sick days per head against a target of four

The plan will be reviewed annually to take account of changes to the external operating environment.

Currently, it sets out five risks, including being unable to identify and remedy a viability or governance failure at a social housing provider within its powers or objectives.